Professor Ian Haywood (University of Roehampton) will be presenting his paper, Pandemonium: Radical Soundscapes and Satirical Prints in the Romantic Period, at 3:00 pm, Wednesday 17 February 2016. The seminar will take place at the City Campus of the University of Wolverhampton in MC224.
This talk will investigate how Romantic-era satirical prints used different types of sound to both attack and defend radical politics. It is axiomatic that the use of speech bubbles required caricatures to be read as well as viewed, but we are unaccustomed to thinking about the prints as an aural medium that exploited the noisiness of political activism and conflict. To its opponents and detractors, radical discourse was demonized as a Jacobin Pandemonium, a dangerous and disorderly hubbub in which the vox populi is the carnivalesque Other of reasoned debate. This myth justified repressive measures aimed at regulating and even silencing radical speech-acts. Conversely, the aim of the radical movement was to make its voice heard in the political public sphere (indeed, its goal was literally to speak in the House of Commons through elected representatives). This clash of soundscapes came to a spectacular climax in the Peterloo massacre of August 1819. Caricature responses to the event use ironic allusions to popular songs and balladry to create a loud, dissonant soundtrack to the tragedy. The debacle also echoed in the poetic soundscape of ‘England in 1819’, including Shelley’s masterpiece Mask of Anarchy.
About the speaker:
Ian Haywood is Professor of English at the university of Roehampton, London, where he is Director of the Centre for Research in Romanticism. He is President of the British Association for Romantic Studies and co-organiser of two research networks in ‘Romantic Illustration’ and ‘Anglo-Hispanic Horizons’. He has published widely on literature, culture and radicalism, and on working-class writing. His current research focuses on popular literary and visual culture in the 18th and 19th centuries, including the development of political caricature. His books include three edited volumes of Chartist fiction (for Ashgate), a ‘trilogy’ of monographs on Romanticism – The Revolution in Popular Literature (2004), Bloody Romanticism (2006) and Romanticism and Caricature (2013) – and a co-edited collection of essays The Gordon Riots (2012). Recent chapters include a study of the Chartist poet and engraver William James Linton, and an essay on Gillray’s last original cartoon, The Life of William Cobbett.